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Climate Change Irrelevant


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#1 Farming guy

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 06:20 PM

Seems to me all the arguing about climate change is quite pointless as it solves nothing.  The climate change alarmists want us to change our evil ways, and by that they mean "Shut up and do as you are told!"  and the climate change deniers just want to maintain the status quo.  It seems to me that we would all be better served if the effort was put towards finding better ways of producing power, and finding better and more efficient ways to use power.  Don't tell us what to do, show us a better way that we can afford.

 

Oh, and as for "green power", if by that they mean clean, well there is no such thing.  Everything we do is going to be dirty to some extent.  Clearing mountain tops for windmills, and clearing more woodland for power transmission lines is not exactly a win - win situation, and covering the countryside with solar panels most likely manufactured in China and shipped on ships powered by fossil fuels is not either.  We need to generate only as much power as we need, and it should be generated as close as practical to where it is being used.



#2 sanctus

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:20 AM

Your point about fossil fuels for transporting solar panles does not hold, at least in proper climate impact studies there it is considered, i.e the panles are greener only after x months of use.

 

Like on all sides and things you have the extremists, but that is no reason to not make reasonable changes



#3 Farming guy

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:14 AM

Not saying we shouldn't make changes.  What I am saying is forcing change, and passing judgement on disbelievers  will not work as effectively as selling clean and especially affordable options.  

 

Also, we are polluting the world with more than just carbon emissions.  It would be interesting to learn what chemicals are used in the manufacture of solar panels. Solar panels on rooftops is better than solar panels in a field.  We should also not forget how much of an effect land use has on the environment.



#4 sanctus

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:12 AM

Yeah, cows are also a very big polluter ;-) I am serious, methane is worse than CO_2 and we nowadays have so Many cows. So reducing meat consumption/willing to pay more for it would have a big effect. A quote and a link (from fao: food and agriculture organization of the UN) in case you do not believe :
 

 

Globally, the sector contributes 18 percent (7.1 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent) of global greenhouse gas emissions. Although it accounts for only nine percent of global CO2, it generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide (N2O) and 35 percent of methane (CH4), which have 296 times and 23 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2 respectively.

http://www.fao.org/a...es0/climate/en/



#5 Farming guy

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 07:32 AM

Actually, we have fewer cows. On our farm, we were able to increase our milk production over the last two years by 20% per cow, which means 20% fewer cows for the same amount of milk.  We achieved this primarily as a result  of my taking a two day class in artificial insemination and being able to get the cows bred in a more timely manner than we did using a hired service, but also as a result of better balancing the cow's ration.  Additionally, in the years since my father started in the late 1950s, production per cow has increased by over 40%  A lot has been learned about bovine nutrition over the years, and that has had a huge impact in regards to reducing methane production.  

 

Consider also, int the days before the white people took over the western U.S. there were a lot of buffalo, and you can bet they put our lot's of methane!  Not to mention other ruminant wildlife  If all you are concerned about is greenhouse gasses, you would have to view the buffalo hunters as ecological heroes!

 

I agree that people need to be more willing to pay for meat, but also dairy, and fruits and vegetables!  With our current system of government subsidies, most people have no idea of the true cost of food production.



#6 sanctus

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 08:51 AM

 

you would have to view the buffalo hunters as ecological heroes!

:D

Are you sure that the buffalo numbers are comparable to the number of cows nowadays?



#7 Farming guy

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 09:23 AM

At least in the U.S. . I do know that the beef and dairy herds have been declining as feed efficiency has been increasing, and I do know that there was once a tremendous buffalo herd before the white settlers showed up.  Not sure of the exact numbers, but buffalo are ruminants, and their diet would have been much higher in fiber than that of the modern American cow, which means more methane production per pound of animal.

 

Also, consider the environmental impact of other land uses.  At least in my location, when we can't farm anymore, there won't be anyone to take over, There is a lot of development pressure, and we have land that is either heavy clay, or rocky gravel, which is best suited for hay production.  We also maintain woodland, and without us, the land faces almost certain development into house lots, which will mean increased pavement, increased rainwater runoff, and a higher concentration of all kinds of chemicals associated with maintaining human habitation.  We use no herbicides, but a lot of homeowners treat their lawns with all kinds of stuff that I wouldn't want to touch.



#8 Farming guy

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:27 PM

We should also keep in mind the power of economics in forming people's decision making process.  When I purchased my last car, I considered the Prius, which at the time sold for $24,000 and promised 50 miles per gallon.  I instead chose the VW Golf TDI for $18,000 and promised 40 mpg, but I knew would match the 50 mpg of the Prius under my driving conditions.  (I have actually been able to achieve as much as 54 mpg, and the car is now 14 years old and running great).  I might consider buying an electric vehicle if there was one that suited my purposes, but there is no way I would ever be willing to spend the asking price of  over $60,000 ! 

 

Also, out of curiosity, has anyone calculated the carbon footprint of the last climate talks in Paris?  



#9 sanctus

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 03:25 AM

I agree it is a lot about money, you get the masses to do something they do not really care aboutif it is substantially cheaper than not doing it. That is one of the reasons Tesla are working on getting a car in a price range for the masses. Or in some cantons of Switzerland they got people to separate rubbish (do you say it like this: I mean to have a compost, plastic, paper all in the their separate places) by making the allowed standard rubbish bags super-expensive.



#10 Farming guy

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 06:11 PM

Pretty much.  With regards to climate change, instead of lecturing to, and condemning people, sell them better alternatives.  


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#11 CraigD

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:50 PM

Climate change, driven by rising greenhouse gas levels, is intensely relevant to the 340,000 or so people living in the Maldives!

IMHO, the silver bullet for atmospheric carbon reduction is clearly solar power.

Though “always available” solar power schemes, such as photovoltaic panels in space beaming power to the ground, exist, they’re unfeasible. Near-term, solar power systems must be ground based. The glaringly obvious technical hurdle for producing a useful, constant supply of electic power with ground-based solar power systems is energy storage – because there is no sunlight, and thus no solar power for a given ground station, at night, and reduced power early and late in the day, and when there are many clouds.

There are 2 main feasible families of solutions to this problem: solar thermal systems such as solar updraft towers, which store energy as heat, and can produce near even power levels through the 24 hour cycle, and ones that store energy excess daytime electric power, such as the Solar Grand Plan, which stores energy as compressed air in large underground chambers which can be draw upon (in a complicated way) when the sun and solar-generated electricity are down.

These are big, expensive, economically challenging systems, hard to scale down in the manner of a microgrid. (The microgrid approach promises to reduce total cost, allowing new systems to be gradually implemented)

Enter electric cars.

Our cars are powerful, many times more than required by our households. A typical house draws perhaps 4500 W peak, while even a small car produces at least 40000 W (54 HP). Electric cars can be charged during the day from solar power source, then discharged to power households during the night.

Though other schemes, such as flywheels and regenerative fuel cells, have tantalized, the best looking at present are electrochemical batteries. Looking at total energy cost, the one-time cost of a battery is less important than its lifespan – a US$100,000, 2 GJ battery with a lifespan of 50 years is nearly as economical as a $10,000, 10 year one.

Alas, there’s no such battery yet. Though chemistries like the lithium–titanate battery are promising (as many as 20,000 full charge-discharge cycles – 20 years of daily cycles – with less than 10% capacity loss), such batteries are small (less than 11 MJ ) and expensive. One of the major makers, Altairnano, had a financial meltdown in 2014, and was being sued by it shareholders.

A breakthrough in battery technology along these lines, in cost and chemistry, could be revolutionary – a siver bullet.

#12 Farming guy

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:15 AM

Climate change, driven by rising greenhouse gas levels, is intensely relevant to the 340,000 or so people living in the Maldives!

 

My central point is that the problem is irrelevant to the solution.

 

As I see it, the root cause of all of our environmental problems is excessive consumption. Ultimately we need a more holistic approach to solving this problem that includes not just power production but power usage, and convincing the public at large that they can do with less and still live happy lives.


Edited by Farming guy, 05 February 2016 - 07:30 AM.


#13 Aristarchus

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 06:45 PM

My central point is that the problem is irrelevant to the solution.

 

As I see it, the root cause of all of our environmental problems is excessive consumption. Ultimately we need a more holistic approach to solving this problem that includes not just power production but power usage, and convincing the public at large that they can do with less and still live happy lives.

 

Can they? Can you give us some examples of how?



#14 Farming guy

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 09:07 AM

I know that in our material culture, a lot of people will not believe it, and they are welcome to wallow in their unhappiness.  Still worth a read to check out http://www.projectha...e-of-happiness/


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#15 fahrquad

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 08:01 PM

I posted this graph on another thread comparing CO2 levels to average global temperature.  I will let you interpret the data for yourselves.

 

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